Sunday, 31 January 2010

Chilli wedges

Chilli wedges
Originally uploaded by anneskitchen
This was Monday nights dinner and mmm it was so simple but so gorgeous. On Sunday night I took out some beef mince to thaw, with no particular plan for cooking it but then I dreamt of this and just had to make!

Simply cook a couple of baking potatoes in the microwave until nearly cooked through (you can fully oven them of course but I like half and half option), cut into wedges and place on a baking tray, spray with a little oil and bake in a hot oven for a further 20 minutes or until fully cooked through and nicely browned. Seperately cook up a small batch of chilli con carne; I always use Jo Pratt's recipe  (I made a quarter of this quantity for 2 people) then spoon over the wedges, grate over some mature cheese, I also had leftover some spicy cheese mix lurking in the freezer, so added a few tbsp worth, return to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted.

Grab a fork and dive in :)

Monday, 18 January 2010

New cute toast stamp!

New cute toast stamp!
Originally uploaded by anneskitchen
A silly post but I couldn't resist this little bargain in the sales!

Happy toasting!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Mushroom & Stilton Cannelloni

Still got some Stilton hanging around from Christmas? Why not give it a good send off with this gorgeously creamy cannelloni!

I adore the mushroom and blue cheese combo and constantly work out ways to eat together (you will probably have noticed this in my blog postings!), this dish is definately a keeper! The Stilton is very mellow in it, if you like stronger then simply add more! For me it was a perfect balance :)
Serves 4


550g brown mushrooms, cut into 1 cm chunks
200g half fat creme fraiche (I like Yeo Valley Organic)
500g carton plain passatta
80g apx finely crumbled Stilton
15 cannelloni shells
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 weeny bit of butter
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

*You will need a hand blender or similar for this*

Heat the oil in a large saute/ lidded frying pan, gently fry the onion for 10 mins, without browning, add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes until all softened and translucent, tip into a bowl

Place the pan back on the heat, add the mushrooms and butter, cook for 15-20 minutes or until the mushrooms are softened, add the thyme leaves - do not brown the mushrooms too much, strain off and reserve the juices, stir the onion mixture back in, 2/3 of the Stilton and allow to cool down, once cooled, gently blitz with a hand blender but not to a puree, stir in 2 heaped tbsp of the creme fraiche

In a jug mix together the passatta and all bar 2 tbsp of the remaining creme fraiche, season with s&p.

Now mix the remaining creme fraiche with 2 tsp of the reserved mushroom juices, the remaining Stilton and 1 tbsp of the tomato and creme fraiche mixture.

Pre-heat oven to 170 fan/ 190o

To assemble, pour the passatta and creme fraiche mixture into a dish that fits the shells in one layer, fill the shells with the mushroom mixture, roll over in the sauce to coat, repeat until all filled and lined up in the dish. Spoon over the Stilton mixture and sprinkle the Parmesan, bake for 30 minutes, if the shells during cooking are looking dry or are not fully immersed gently press down with a fork or spoon to allow the mixture to re-cover.

Serve and enjoy! Salad would be lovely but in the middle of this cold snap cabbage and hot bread rolls made a lovely accompaniment!

I didn't remember to get a picture of the finished dish but this is the last piece in my lunchbox!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Things to do with lots of yoghurt…

This post is a bit long overdue! Total very kindly sent me a while back an assortment of yoghurt products from their range, as I had not really cooked a lot before with yoghurt it was a great chance to experiment with a variety of products. I didn't get pictures of everything as between the dark nights and an old camera, nothing looked particuarly appetizing!

Alongside the yoghurt they also sent me a book with their recipes in. I will be honest in that one dish really failed from it, the yoghurt muffins. Yes, they may be very low in fat / calories etc but they just didn’t work for us, the texture was too light and a bit odd, unfortunately the whole batch got binned. Another disappointment was a curry I made split quite badly, however I think that was also due to my inexperience using it the 2% version.

On a more positive note, there were also successes! The best was a dip I made using very 1 stick of finely minced, de-stringed fresh crisp celery, mixed with a few tbsp of their 0% greek yoghurt, a splash of white balsamic, s&p and a squeeze of lemon, S&P and then left to stand a while. The result was similar to tzatziki and really fresh tasting, was great with crudités and nachos! If left overnight it becomes more cottage cheese like in texture but still tastes great.

Another winner for me was a very simple combination of my favourite fruit muesli, topped with the 0% or 2% yoghurt and a sprinkling of mixed seeds. It felt very healthy for breakfast and tasted good too!

The final dish was an experiment made on a day off from work and inspired from giant sized tomatoes that I was given. There were a few stages but was worth it in the end! Basically I sliced the tops off and hollowed out the tomatoes, blitzed in the blender, then simmered for about 20 minutes with red wine vinegar, smoked paprika S&P, then removed from the heat and stirred in about 6 tbsp 2% Total greek yoghurt. I used this sauce to line a dish, then place the hollowed out tomatoes snugly on top. I filled them with a mixture of cooked bulghar wheat, onion, yellow pepper, diced bockwurst, a little chilli powder, S&P, binded with a little more yoghurt, placed the tops back on, sprinkled with grated cheese and baked for approx 25 minutes until soft and bubbling. Serve with fresh greenery. The real highlight of this dish was the sauce! The yoghurt worked perfectly in it and will definitely use it this way again.

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